Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Summer 2011

School has officially started. I had my first staff day today in my new school. Tomorrow the 3rd graders come and Thursday I get my 5th graders. While I am really excited to get this new year (and new school) started, I'm not quite ready for summer to be over... so here is my ode to Summer 2011:

Summer 2011... it's been both the best, and the worst. Honestly, there have been so many ups and downs this summer that I feel like I've been on a roller coaster. In June I got laid off from teaching at the middle school I have been at for the 3 years since college. I spent 2 1/2 months stressing, agonizing and freaking out about trying desperatly to find a job. In August, I got hired in the same district as a 5th grade teacher which is amazing and exciting.

In June I found out about some health issues I have. While I still need some more tests done to confirm things and figure out treatment, it has been scary to know that there is something wrong with my body, and not be able to do something about it. I'm not ready to discuss this yet on my blog, but when (and if) I feel ready I will.

In July I lost my grandfather. It has been one of the hardest things I've ever had to deal with. I have never lost anyone I was that close to, and this was rather unexpected, so it just hit me like a ton of bricks and I've been slowly working through my grief.

Along with all of that, I spent the entire summer with 2 amazing kids. I've talked about them a little on here, but nannying for Miss Mo and G-man was one of the best decisions I've ever made. Yes, some days it was exhausting, frustrating and even a little painful (ever had a matchbox car chucked at you by an angry 5-year old?) but overall it was amazing. I fell in love with these kids, went on amazing days trips, worked on my tan... and got paid for it! I already miss seeing them everyday. Luckily, Miss Mo goes to my new school, so I can see her in the hall a bit. Plus, their mom promsed that she would "go away" a lot (per Miss Mo's request) so I can spend time with the kids. Score.  would totally do it for free, but getting paid for it is even better.

So that was my summer in a (large) nutshell. While I'm sad to see it go, I (think) I am ready for the bigger and better that is to come. Hopefully the 2011-2012 school year will be an amazing year for me.

How was your summer? Was there one big thing that colored your summer or was it a roller coaster of emotions like mine was? Please share, I would love to hear about it!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Irene must have done something to my brain yesterday...

Irene has come and gone and while I sympathize with all the people down south who were hit hard, Irene was a tease up here in Maine. She was hyped up all week and flaunted what her Mama (Nature) gave her... and then didn't put out. Not that I'm disappointed, she just didn't deserve all the attention we gave her up here.


Despite Irene being less than devastating around here, my first teacher day was cancelled, I'm assuming it is because there were a lot of people in town without power. Being the industrious overachiever that I am, I decided to go into school this morning to work on my room and plans. Great idea in theory, but it made me realize that my brain just isn't working today... I blame Irene.


About halfway to school I realized that I never grabbed my wallet. I needed it to stop at Target after school to get part of Drew's b-day gift (shhhh, don't tell him). Crap. Okay, I turned around, drove back... and couldn't find it! I searched all over the place... and then realized it was in my bag, yeah, the bag that had been in the backseat of my car the whole time. Smooth Amanda, smooth.


After I finished up at school I headed over to Target. As I got back in my car at the store I realized I didn't have my cell phone. Crap. The last time I remembered seeing it was on my desk. So I headed back over to school... and no dice. It wasn't on my desk or anywhere else around my room. I looked in my car real quick and still couldn't find it. 


So I started heading home. Debated about going back to Target to see if I had somehow left it in my basket or something, stressed about Drew being pissed because I had lost my phone (again) and tried to figure out what the hell had happened to it. At a red light I leaned over to grab my wallet before it slid off the seat... and there was my phone. Just sitting there. Wow Amanda, wow.


Not sure where my head is at today. Maybe it's stress, maybe I'm just losing it, but I don't know why I've already done that twice today... I blame Irene.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Prepping for Irene

As hurricane tropical storm Irene prepares to assault us Mainer's, Drew, Zoey and I are in major preps (i.e. we've avoided going to the store for almost 2 weeks now so our food stores are minimal) to make sure we are ready should we lose power/access to the outside world.

We have:
  • chocolate
  • mallows
  • graham crackers
  • a blow torch

We're all set!

I hope the rest of you on the East coast are as well prepared as we are!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

So What Wednesday


I'm linking up again with Life After I "Dew" to say "so what"

  • If I have a habit of saying "Gracias Senor Frog", when I thank Drew for something. Not sure why, but I started it right before we went to Spain... and it seems to have stuck.
  • If I cried a little yesterday when Miss Mo and G-Man were picked up by their mom. While I'm super psyched for my vacation and the new school year to start, I'm going to miss those two. They were my babies this summer and I love them... not seeing them every day is going to take some getting used to
  • If Drew and I roasted marshmallows the other day...via blow torch... yeah, we're classy like that
  • If I am bringing a boatload of work on vacation with me. Hello? Did you see my post Monday? I need to get some shizz done.
  • If I'm gonna be MIA the rest of the week. I'm hitting up the lake. The rest of my week will consist of tanning, watertubing, sipping drinks, reading books, and a little bit of work. It's totally okay for you to be jealous.


What are you saying So What to this week? Link up and share!

Monday, August 22, 2011

I am freaking out here folks...

I am stressed beyond possible belief. Freaking out, spazzing, any other verbage you can think of to describe this state of being in which I am overwhelmed and exhausted.

I got a new job, its awesome and I am SO excited. I am teaching 5th grade which is very different from middle school, and is stressful on it's own. Making it worse? I HAVE NO FREAKING IDEA WHAT I AM SUPPOSED TO BE DOING.

Last week I had an hour meeting with my new principal, who threw 243,303,222.2 things at me all at once and then showed me my new classroom which is crammed full of the old teachers stuff. I was told that they old teacher (we will call her Mrs. T from here on out) was going in today and tomorrow to clear out her stuff and I was asked to meet with her to go over how she runs her classroom. Sweet, no big deal, not like I have a full time job this summer or anything like that. Fine, today I went in with the kids for an hour to talk to Mrs. T a bit. She threw 603 more things at me and then asked me to come back when I was done with the kids tonight.

Tonight I spent an hour and a half with Mrs. T as she tossed another 734,212,222,445,675 more things my way. She means well, I can tell she really does, but she is so scattered and overwhelmed right now that she goes in 100 directions at once and doesn't make much sense.

After spending time with Mrs. T though, I realized that I can't worry about getting it all done. Tomorrow I have the kids in the morning, laptop training in the afternoon and a parent meet and greet in the evening. I know I won't get my room set up tomorrow and Wednesday-Saturday are my vacation days, the only vacation I've had since school let out in June. There is no way I am going to miss out on that or be stressed out when I can be enjoying myself. School starts Tuesday. Time crunch? You bet.

Oh-freaking-well

There's nothing I can do about it. I am dedicated to getting as much done as I can before the kids come...that's all I can do. I am not going to make myself sick about this. Or at least I am going to try not to make myself sick about this.

In other news, I screwed up my back yesterday tubing behind the boat*. I can barely walk, couldn't sleep last night because of the pain...totally worth it :)

When I get back from my vacation at the lake I will share tubing pictures as well as pictures of any other shenanigans that go on at the lake.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

20SB Blog Swap

First off let me introduce myself! My name is Lara (http://www.crazybeautifulblog.com/ is my home). I am guest blogging here as part of 20SB blog swap. I just had my first baby (born June 16th), and I am in a baby blogging RUT! Pre-baby I was exciting! I had a crazy fun active social life, traveled a TON, just got married in March 2010, but now that baby Everleigh is here I find my world (blogging world especially) revolving so much around her, its hard to write about anything else.  So its nice to have an opportunity to blog at a new address, meet some new readers, and have a fresh perspective. Our topic is summer, so lets see where this goes!

What makes summer SUMMER?
I find myself wondering this as now I am an adult, I work full time (other than currently I am off with my new baby) and there is no ‘summer holidays’ for my job, so what makes summer so fabulous?

If you are lucky enough to live in a place with seasons then you get the benefit of the heat in the summer. Our winters here are cold, dark, and feel so long. When the temperature starts rising, and everyone swtiches (way too quickly) to shorts, flip flops and mini skirts, you know that summer is on its way. Also in our city we have a major college and university that when school is out of session our roads are less busy, you can actually get a table at the popular patios, and you are riddled with 17 year olds trying to get in to all of the best bars.

I think everybody has their own opinion on what is the quintessential summer MUST. Whether you love, or hate the heat, there is always something summer has to offer, and these are my Summer musts:

I must go to a baseball game. We live near Toronto, and though the Blue Jays aren’t the most fabulous team its still fun to go enjoy a beer, a hotdog, and soak in the atmosphere.

I must go to a cottage. We are lucky enough to have a lot of friends and family who are generous with their cottages. The best place to go near us is the Huntsville, Parry Sound area in Northern Ontario. The rock from the Niagara Escarpment makes for such a beautiful landscape. There is no place more relaxing to me than a dock up north. I have cottaged many times with family, and friends, and every time is an absolute joy. I love conversations around a fire, after a couple glasses of wine. You just never know what people are going to say! 

I must enjoy as many lunches, and beverages on a patio as possible. Being from wintery Canada we don’t get many chances to do this, but this summer has been incredible for hot weather. The only difficult part for me now is getting my sun, while keeping my baby in the shade (ok ok, no more baby talk)

I must get a tan. I know, I know, skin cancer, sun damage. I always wear my sunscreen, I reapply often, I promise. But I do like to develop a nice brown glow over the summer. Nothing is cuter than some summery tan lines!

I must enjoy a few GREAT books! Anything by Sophie Kinsella, Jodi Picoult, or Barbara Delinsky is a perfect summer read!

So thats that! My summer musts. What are yours???

Monday, August 15, 2011

...And the winner is

Thanks to all of you who entered my giveaway this last week, I am so excited that so many people share my love of good books (...or you just love free stuff... whatevs).

So, without further adiu...

The entry slips we laid out (with a bit of Snausage on each of them)


The hound was released

She ate the bait from one entry.



And then she went back for the rest of the bait...obviously

Our lucky winner? Joy from Living On Trees!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Hell Yeah!

So, I couldn't say anything until it was official, but my new contract came in the mail today, so:

I GOT A JOB!!!!!!

Wow that feels good :)

So here's how it went down. Thursday morning, at 8am I got a call from the assistant superintendent at my former district asking whether I had renewed my teaching certificate (my old one expired in July and since I had been let go I never gave them my new certificate). She was very criptic, but just said thier may be a position available for me, but that I needed to drop my certificate off at central office before she could say more.

So I schlepped the kids to my house to get the certificate and then back into town to hand it in. 20 minutes later I got a call from another district saying that I was not hired for the 5th grade position I interviewed for, but that they wanted me to come in Monday to interview for another position (this would be the 4th interview in the same district with no job offer).

I was feeling a little mopey about not getting the 5th grade job when out of the blue I got a call from the intermediate principal of my old district offering me a 5th grade job in their multiage program... that's right, the program that fed into my old middle school job. Obviously I said yes, because hello, awesomeness!

For the rest of the day I was on the phone with people in the other district (to cancel the other interview), the assistant superintendent of my former/present school district, the administrative assistant of the district and obviously Drew and my best friend to share the news.

I've been sitting on this news for 2 days now because it wasn't techinally official yet. I had a verbal contract, but nothing in writing yet. My new contract came today. I got a raise (hells yes!), even better? I got my tenure!!!! I am SO excited. I am meeting with my new principal Tuesday to see my new room, discuss the job and hopefully get an idea of the curriculum since I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I WILL BE TEACHING. I have 2 weeks until the school year starts and about a billion things to do before then, but I am beyond excited and can not wait. This is a tremendous opportunity. The building itself has some issues (asbestos, mold, falling apart... no big deal) but, they are working on plans for a new building and the town is voting on it in November. So I actually might end up working in a brand new building in the next couple of years :)

Saturday Morning Scene

Saturday Morning Scene
Drew gets free samples all the time at work because he works in the corporate office of a huge grocery store chain. Stupid me, I thought that was a good thing.

But those free bananas?... They're out to get me...




Don't forget to enter my giveaway, it ends Monday!!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

I'll be good!

Based on the advice I got yesterday from my amazing readers, and Drew's nagging to "do the right thing" I decided that I am going to go to the baby shower, and be a good friend despite the lack of reciprocation in that relationship. So thanks to those of you who offered your insight and thoughts. It made me feel better to know that other people understood how I felt and where I was coming from. I also sent a message back to said friend about how she's been ignoring my calls/texts and that she hasn't been there for me at a time where I really could have used her.

Don't forget to enter my giveaway, you have until Monday to enter!

Oh, and I have some amazing, awesome news to share, but I have to wait until Tuesday to make it official and no, I am NOT pregnant! (as an almost 25-year old who has been married for more than 2 years, everyone's assumption when I have news is that I'm preggo. It's getting old)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Am I a bad person?

So, I got invited to a friend's baby shower... a friend who has been MIA for, oh about 6 months. Last time I saw her she was 4 weeks pregnant. Apparently (according to the shower invite) it's a boy, his name starts with an A.


Am I a bad person if I don't go?


This is a friend who I have known for 6 years now. She was a bridesmaid in my wedding and we used to talk and hang out all the time, even after graduation when we lived more than an hour apart. Ever since she got married though... things have changed.


She doesn't answer my calls. Sometimes she will call me back a few days later, but usually there's no response. She doesn't respond to my texts, or my facebook messages. In fact, the only time I've spoken to her in 6 months was when she called to thank me for a baby gift I sent. We've made plans several times in the past 6 months. Each time she bails either the day of our plans or the day before. 


I feel like I don't know her anymore. I didn't know she was having a boy. I didn't know is name. I don't even know her due date. I haven't seen her baby bump, or talked to her about this amazing event in her life. When she told us she was pregnant, I was overjoyed for her (jealous too, but mostly overjoyed). She was so happy and so excited, but now I feel like I've been pushed out of her life, like I'm not wanted.


To be perfectly honest, I haven't been gung-ho about pursuing her. Since May my whole world has been turned upside down, and I've had to deal with a lot of things, some of which I've mentioned on this blog. I've been dealing with a lot, so when she started blowing me off, I honestly couldn't worry about it too much beyond feeling let down that I couldn't go to her when I needed a friend. 


So my question to readers. I've sent her a baby gift, months ago. I've made several attempts to be there for her during her pregnancy and been ignored or ditched. Should I ignore the fact that she's a crappy friend and just be there for her as a friend? Should I send her a note saying I wish her well and congrats? Or should I be a crappy friend back and blow her off? What do you think?


Oh, and as I wrote this last night, she sent me a message saying she hadn't heard for me in awhile and  that she hoped "all is well". I may have laughed.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

So What Wednesday



This week I am saying so what:

  • if I've been a bad blogger lately. I think I have a good excuse. Besides, if I had blogged last week, it would have been very emo and depressing... all my followers would have probably left me
  • if I ordered Domino's Saturday night when Drew was out of town because I was too lazy/lame to attempt cooking for one
  • if I bet Miss Mo she couldn't finish a book by noon today, just so I could read yesterday afternoon. She finished last night... so I'm out $2
  • if I really enjoyed being home alone all day Saturday (I had a friend spend the night because I'm chicken) I got to watch what I want to watch, putter around, and take a nap without feeling guilty about being unproductive, hey, we all need our space every now and then.
  • if I really want all of you to enter my giveaway cause it's an awesome book and I want others to enjoy it!

Monday, August 8, 2011

I've got something for you!

I have decided to do my first giveaway!

I have so many awesome readers who leave me awesome comments and are so supportive, that I thought it would be fun to offer up a gift.

What am I giving away?
<--- This book! If you have read any of Emily Giffin's books, than you know how great they are. This newest book is no exception. This book was SO good and I read it in about 2 days because I couldn't put it down. It's told from the perspectives of two women; one a stay at home mom whose marriage is struggling and the other a single mom whose son is in an accident. I wont give anything away, but thier two lives quickly become intertwined and that connection is the focus of the book.
As a bonus I will also include something to snack on while reading... I'm thinking chocolate :)



How do you win?
1) Become a follower and leave me a comment on this post telling me that you are a follower
2) Post on your blog about my giveaway and leave a comment on this post with the link.

That's all you have to do to be entered twice in this giveaway. I will accept entries until Monday, August 15th. Then Zoey (maybe Drew if Zoey is being uncooperative) will be randomly picking a winner out of a bowl.


Just kidding... about the free and the house broken, Drew was just being mean


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Shenanigans

Is that how you spell shenanigans? I just kinda sounded it out... too lazy to look it up. Is it really even a word?

Regardless of whether it's a word, my husband is up to some. He's been busy this weekend helping his friend B celebrate his last few weeks sans ball and chain.

That's right, bachelor party time. I am glad Drew is experiencing another one, since he was passed out for 90 % of his own bachelor party, he will forever be making up for that loss. He missed out on trash bag slip and slides and soap covered guys making bubbles in pool (and those are just the events his brother told me about, God knows what else happened that night)

Anyways, Drew spent the majority of his own bachelor party in a SoCo-induced sleep, therefore this weekend was another chance at redemption. Friday night the guys went to a popular local strip club...he wasn't home too late, so he must not have been too naugthy. However Saturday he drive 2 hours north to B's hometown for a day of shooting clays, drinking... and who knows what else. He texted me at 2:30 yesterday afternoon... it is now 11:15 Sunday morning, and I haven't heard from him.

He better be bleeding somewhere

**Update: At 12 Drew called to let me know that he was on his way home... there wasn't any cell reception at the camp they were staying at**

Friday, August 5, 2011

Guest Post from Little Miss Manners

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**Hey everyone, sorry for being so MIA. I'm still reading all of your blogs and commenting some, but emotinally I'm struggling to blog right now, so I am having Little Miss Manners from In the Clotheset guest posting about virtual etiquette.**



I like good manners, it really goes a long way in life. Unless a person proves themselves undeserving, respect, I believe is the least you owe people.


With that said, however, it is a whole new world. Changes in gender roles and life in survival mode make the line between rude and assertive very thin. It's dog eat dog out there and it seems that every man is indeed out for himself.


Add to that the fact that virtual life makes it so that we hardly ever have to interact anymore and respect falls through the wayside.


We are living in a communication/information age, we are working virtually, shopping virtually and "skyping" across oceans. That means new kind of manners are in order....virtual manners, 21st century manners.


Which brings me to "Little Miss Modern's Guide to 21st Century Etiquette"



What is etiquette?


It is defined as: "conventional requirements as to social behavior; code of conduct as established in any class or community or for any occasion."


Etiquette is just a way of establishing "rules" to social situations and I can not think of anything more social then Facebook.


Everyone uses it, everyone has committed one or more of these crimes against common sense but its all so new and it's going to take time to realize how to deal with things like.....



Pictures of Yourself


The #1 rule of etiquette where social networking is concerned is this - "Think Before You Post" and it never becomes more clear then where pictures are concerned.


There are a lot of reasons why this is the most important rule, for one you can very rarely take it back.....


That means this will be floating around the world for all of eternity because now I've gone and taken it from the guys over at Assylum.com


Eventually someone will come across it in the pages of ITC and take it again. Ensuring that this vomiting girl with her head in a bucket, on the bowl, will be seen by everyone.


The brunette in the picture who posted it on her MySpace page can never take that back.


There are millions of cases of these all over the internet....one only needs to search "drunk girl" to see the stupidity.


What's the lesson in all this?


Well sometimes the bucket isn't there to hide your face which means, the night you got drunk and let someone draw a penis on your forehead, then drunkenly post and tag you on it, means its out there now waiting for a future employer or future in-law to find.


If we've learned anything from our twittering friend, Mr. Anthony Weiner, it should be to stop sharing your junk & your "junk" with the whole wide world, it's embarrassing and could cost you a job!


What I'm saying is, if you are going to be drunk or perverted then better to be those things without having to commemorate it with pictures for an audience.

Pictures of Others


Sometimes, the person taking the picture might have less then honorable intentions, even if you don't let someone draw a penis on your forehead it could easily be photo-shopped in later.


Which brings me to another part to this whole picture thing, posting pictures of someone else without their permission.


Even if the person in front of you, on line at the bank is wearing a leprechaun costume. The right thing to do is ask the leprechaun first if you can take the picture and then if you can post it online.


I see so many posts of sneaky pics and while these pictures can be hilarious and outrageous its reprehensible.


Just because one person likes to wear see-through pants, does not mean another person has the right to broadcast it on the web for all to make fun of.


Its disrespectful and rude and not funny to the person whose image you've stolen and posted as a joke for your friends because rule #1 says you can't take it back, EVER!



"Friend" V. "Stalker"


The line between friend and stalker is very thin. As a general rule a person requesting my friendship should share at least 3 mutual friends and should have a healthy amount of "normal" pictures in their photo albums.


This tells me they a)have lives outside of the FB world and b)there are others with whom I interact with on FB who think this person is just fine.....


How can you tell if you've got a Facebook stalker on your hands?



    Tip #1: After you accept their friendship they "like" every single picture you have in every single album on your page. Tip #2: They are the first one to "like" all your updates and statuses, immediately, no matter what it is, including the "stubbed my toe and think its broken, does anyone know how to tell if my toe is broken?" status you posted last week! Tip #3: You notice them popping up on all the pages you like as the "other friends who also like ________" and the "pokes" never stop
If you have a "friend" who has committed more then one of these offenses then you've got a bit of a stalker on your hands.


If you are a "friend" who seems to be committing these offenses, then you need to re-think your strategy and take it down a few notches.



It's All So TMI


A lot of times we think that it doesn't really matter what we put in that little "what's on your mind.." box. That anonymity thing, makes it so we never really get to see people's reactions to the things we say.


Trust me on this - it's not cool to scroll down a news-feed and find pictures of the pimple you just popped. Its also not necessary to give a moment to moment report on the mundane situations you find yourself in.


I brush my teeth & I happen to think Aqua Fresh is awesome too but that doesn't warrant a public announcement.


That's the 20th Century equivalent of calling someone every 5 minutes to let them know things like "I just tied my shoes, now I'm ready to go" or "I just got on the bus, on my way to work"


No one cares, if you don't have anything to say then leave the little box blank. Share a joke, post a video you like or link to your favorite cause but leave the part about having constipation out of it.



Our doors have been kicked wide open in order to "share" the contents of our lives. We are all little voyeurs, taking peaks behind the curtain into our neighbor's lives via "news-feeds" and "like" buttons.


Its a natural progression in this decidedly reality tv world, were tabloid has become life and life has become reality tv.


Its not all bad, Facebook and sites like it bring the world together, allowing us to connect to things and people we might not have otherwise. Facebook has the power to bring us first hand accounts of world events and long lost relatives all at the same time.


Amidst all the pros and cons however, one thing is certain, there's a way to conduct yourself, the same as in any social situation we're in.


Don't get it twisted, just because you feel anonymous behind your keypad doesn't mean you actually are and unlike the bar you got drunk and embarrassed yourself in last week you can't just choose another bar.


Social networking means the bar comes to you along with all the drunken, embarrassing high-jinx.


We should all be mindful of the things we say and the way we behave. They are all representations of who we are and that goes for your "virtual life too"


GOT A QUESTION ABOUT VIRTUAL ETIQUETTE FOR MISS MODERN?


If so send an email to Little Miss Modern c/o Intheclotheset.com


"Little Miss Modern" is the sole property of ITC - use of the name or contents herein must be permitted by and credited to IntheClotheset.com. Feature photo courtesy geeksugar.com

Monday, August 1, 2011

Just your typical wake conversation

This conversation took place at my grandfather's wake yesterday:

Amanda: When I die, I don't want the whole wake thing... it's too depressing

Drew: Don't worry, they'll never find the body


...should I be worried?
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